Did You Make It To The 2018 Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade?
Today marks the 62nd annual Kentucky Derby Festival Republic Bank Pegasus Parade. Harking back to previous Derby celebratory events, this years parade theme will be #ThrowbackThursday and will be led by Co-Grand Marshals Denny Crum and Joe B. Hall. While past Pegasus Parade Grand Marshals have included names like Chubby Checker, Loretta Lynn and Diane Sawyer, this years event will feature two major figures in Kentucky basketball’s history.
Formally the head coach at U of L, Denny Crum led the Louisville Cardinals to two NCAA titles in 1980 and 1986. Joe B. Hall, formally a coach of the rivaling team UK, led the Kentucky Wildcats to their 5th NCAA Championship in 1978. Hall and Crum have a long history together having hosted a sports radio talk show from March 2004 to October 2014. In 1975 the pair even served as Co-Grand Marshals during the Pegasus Parade making this year a real blast from the past and #ThrowbackThursday a fitting theme. The theme of the parade the last time they rode together back in 1975 was, “The Land of Make Believe.”
Along with special guests, the 2018 Pegasus Parade which is one of the oldest and largest parades in the country will also feature family-friendly inflatable characters, colorful vibrant floats and equestrian units along with some of the nation’s finest marching bands. Drawing in an estimated crowd of 200,000 spectators, this years Pegasus Parade will showcase themes seen in the past. Float builders have been asked this year to look back at previous parades for inspiration for their designs and float decorations. A staple in the parade will be “Peggy Bank,” the iconic mascot featured in every Pegasus Parade since it was first held by KDF in 1956. Peggy Bank annually leads the parade and you can’t miss her. She is an enormous blue and white inflatable Pegasus that flies in front of the parade procession floated by the current years sponsor which is Republic Bank for the 2018 event.
While the epic sight of Peggy Bank floating at the head of the parade on Broadway may stir a lot of excitement, the real stars of the show are the majestic equestrian units that the entire Kentucky Derby event is held in honor of. Sporting bright costumes adorned with gold, silver, florals and every color of the rainbow, these fantastic beasts compete for the Jockey’s Award for the best mounted and driven units. Last year more than 78,000 votes were cast during the parade for everything from the Jockey’s Award to the People’s Choice Award for favorite float.
The 2018 Republic Bank Pegasus Parade will begin on Broadway Thursday, May 3. The parade will begin at 5:00 PM and will travel west for 17 blocks lasting an estimated 2 hours. The local economy will get a boost of roughly $22 million because of this single Kentucky Derby event. Local weather predicts pleasant temperatures with a slight chance of afternoon showers so don’t forget to bring an umbrella for this one of a kind, #ThrowbackThursday event!